Merrill Elam is a principal in the firm of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to her practice she lectures and teaches frequently, recently as a Visiting Critic at Syracuse University, Visiting Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the City College of New York, the Gehry International Visiting Chair in Architectural Design at the University of Toronto, the Herbert Baumer Distinguished Visiting Professor at The Ohio State University, the Ruth Carter Stevenson Chair Visiting Professor of Architectural Design at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as having served as Visiting Critic at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). With Mack Scogin, she received the 2012 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Architecture, the 2011 Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 1995 Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the 1996 Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design and a 2008 Honorary Fellowship in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Elam first studied architecture at Georgia Institute of Technology, completed a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1971, and continued at Georgia State University with her Master's degree in business administration in 1982. She has also studied briefly at Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Maurice Cox is the Associate Dean for Community Engagement at the Tulane University School of Architecture and Director of the Tulane City Center, a multi-disciplinary community-based design practice in New Orleans. Prior to his position at Tulane, Cox served as Design Director of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC. He is a co-founder of the national SEED (Social, Economic, Environmental, Design) Network and the Charlottesville architectural practice, RBGC-Architecture Research and Urbanism. Cox was also a two-term City Councilor and former mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia. He previously held the position of Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Virginia's School of Architecture and taught at Syracuse University's Italian Program in Florence, Italy. Cox is a recipient of the John Q. Hejduk Award, the Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and in 2013 was named one of the Most Admired Design Educators in America by Design Intelligence. Born and raised in New York City, Cox received his architectural education from the Cooper Union School of Architecture.
Ned Cramer is editor-in-chief of Architect, Architectural Lighting, and the Architect Product Spec Guide published by Hanley Wood, a Washington, D.C.-based business media company. Architect is the official magazine of the American Institute of Architects. Prior to joining Hanley Wood, Mr. Cramer served as the first full time curator of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF). Cramer’s byline has appeared on hundreds of print articles, many written in his former capacity as executive editor of Architecture magazine. The recipient of an Arts Administration Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cramer has held positions at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Menil Collection in Houston. He has served as a juror on numerous professional design competitions and student reviews, and he speaks regularly on architecture and related subjects at venues such as the New York Center for Architecture, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Field Museum of Chicago. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Cox received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the Rice University School of Architecture, where he also did graduate work in art and architecture history.
Toni L. Griffin is the Professor of Architecture and the inaugural Director of the J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. In addition to her academic involvement, Griffin also maintains an active private practice, Urban Planning and Design for the American City, in New York and recently lead and completed Detroit Future City, a comprehensive citywide framework plan for urban transformation. Prior to returning to private practice, she was the Director of Community Development for Newark, New Jersey; Vice President and Director of Design for the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation in Washington, DC; and held the position of Deputy Director for Revitalization Planning and Neighborhood Planning in the D.C. Office of Planning. She began her career as an architect with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in Chicago, where she became an Associate Partner involved in architecture and urban design projects. Born and raised in Chicago, Griffin received a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, where she also taught as an Adjunct Associate Professor between 2006-2011.
Rip Rapson is president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, a private foundation based in metropolitan Detroit, where he initiated a multi-year transition to expand and recalibrate Kresge’s grantmaking through seven strategically focused programs – in arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health, and human services. Prior to joining Kresge, Rapson was president of the Minnesota-based McKnight Foundation, was a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota, and served as deputy mayor of Minneapolis, where he was primary architect of a pioneering Neighborhood Revitalization program. Rapson came to the mayor’s office from the Minneapolis law firm of Leonard, Street and Deinard. He is the author of two books: “Troubled Waters,” a chronicle of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act legislation, and “Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design,” a biography of his father, the renowned architect Ralph Rapson. He sits on the boards of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, M1 Rail, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation of New York, and Living Cities. Born and raised in Minneapolis, Rapson received his law degree from Columbia University.